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Terrestrial Titanospirillum velox along-side its purportedly alien look-alike.  (Source: Riccardo Guerrero / Richard B. Hoover / Journal of Cosmology)

Another close-up of the possible "alien".  (Source: Riccardo Guerrero / Richard B. Hoover / Journal of Cosmology)
Astrobiologist shattered meteorite, reports finding fossilized microbe E.T.s inside

An astrobiologist working at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center outside Huntsville, Alabama has made an astounding claim.  In a recently published journal article, he claims to have discovered a preserved alien life form residing inside a meteor that journeyed through the vast black of space before impact our planet.

This extra-terrestrial may not be a bulbous-headed humanoid like in the movies, but it may offer up an answer to one of mankind's greatest inquiries -- are we alone in the universe?

The researcher, Dr. Richard B. Hoover [profile], had to go to extraordinary lengths to make his discovery.  He reasoned that if alien microbes were to hitch a ride on a meteorite, they would likely have to do so in a special meteor.  

Specifically, he zeroed in on the CI class of carbonaceous chrondite meteors.   These meteors are rich in water, amino acids, and other organic compounds -- seemingly a virtual pantry for a microorganism.  

Picking the most ideal type of CI meteorite -- CI1 optimized his chances, but narrowed his pool of available specimens.  In total only nine such meteorites are known to exist on Earth.

After going to great lengths to obtain one of these meteorites, he destroyed a piece of it, smashing it apart.  Using scanning-electron microscopes and field emissions electron-scanning microscopes he images the result dust and fragments and made the extraordinary discovery he was hoping for -- what appears to be a fossilized bacteria.

The identified specimen appears remarkably similar to the bacteria Titanospirillum velox, a sulfur-loving archaebacteria, which was discovered in 1999 mud samples from Spain.

The meteorite was reportedly broken under carefully controlled sterile conditions.  Now the only unknown is whether the meteorite could have somehow been contaminated.  The meteors were sterilely harvested in the frigid reaches of Antarctica immediately after their observed fall.  The fact that they were collected so quickly limits the possibility that indigenous microbes contaminated them.  The possibility of atmospheric contamination still remains, though.

Dr. Hoover believes that this is not a case of contamination.  He is convinced that he has become the first human to record a scientifically verifiable encounter with an alien being.  He states in a recent interview, "I interpret it as indicating that life is more broadly distributed than restricted strictly to the planet Earth. This field of study has just barely been touched -- because quite frankly, a great many scientist would say that this is impossible."

The discovery has been met with a great deal of skepticism, but also fascination.  Dr. Hoover writes in a note to the editor's note accompanying his study, "Given the controversial nature of his discovery, we have invited 100 experts and have issued a general invitation to over 5,000 scientists from the scientific community to review the paper and to offer their critical analysis. No other paper in the history of science has undergone such a thorough vetting, and never before in the history of science has the scientific community been given the opportunity to critically analyze an important research paper before it is published."

With the paper currently peer-reviewed and published [abstract] in the Journal of Cosmology, Dr. Hoover's discovery will face its next critical test, with the collected materials being examined by a second research team for verification and validation.

Dr. David Marais, an astrobiologist at NASA's AMES Research Center states, "It’s an extraordinary claim, and thus I’ll need extraordinary evidence."

Dr. Hoover is confident his discovery will be validated.  He comments, "A lot of times it takes a long time before scientists start changing their mind as to what is valid and what is not. I’m sure there will be many scientists that will be very skeptical and that’s OK."

"If someone can explain how it is possible to have a biological remain that has no nitrogen, or nitrogen below the detect ability limits that I have, in a time period as short as 150 years, then I would be very interested in hearing that. I’ve talked with many scientists about this and no one has been able to explain."



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RE: Journal of Cosmology.....
By Boze on 3/7/2011 11:14:47 AM , Rating: 2
It could be possible that he's trying to push this new journal from what appears to be obscurity into the scientific public's eye.

I still think he would have been better off submitting this to Science, but I think I'd rather wait till qualified scientists review this paper before shooting it down. If its true, it could be one of the greatest discoveries we've ever made.

And on the other hand though... the Journal of Cosmology could have paid a local college kid in a computer science program $500 to make a jam up web site.


RE: Journal of Cosmology.....
By Boze on 3/7/2011 11:16:22 AM , Rating: 2
One other thing I should add... Gregor Mendel's research was published in an extremely obscure journal and sat around for decades before anyone reviewed it again.

Just sayin'... he's the Father of Genetics and all.


RE: Journal of Cosmology.....
By Motoman on 3/7/2011 11:33:10 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
It could be possible that he's trying to push this new journal from what appears to be obscurity into the scientific public's eye.


No, I don't believe that's possible at all. The only reasonable conclusion one could draw from the submission of a paper to that "journal" would be an expectation that it wouldn't pass muster anywhere else.

If you have verifiable information about a newsworthy subject, you send it to Reuter's, or the NYT, etc. You don't send it to the National Enquirer. This "journal" is effectively the National Enquirer of "science" journals.


RE: Journal of Cosmology.....
By melgross on 3/7/2011 1:46:33 PM , Rating: 2
It's a good thing you're such an expert.


RE: Journal of Cosmology.....
By Motoman on 3/7/2011 2:09:48 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, the issue at hand is that it's very sad that you're such a gullible chump, apparently.


RE: Journal of Cosmology.....
By kingius on 3/10/2011 9:36:10 AM , Rating: 2
There he goes again; in motorman's world, everybody but himself is an idiot. He smells an awful lot like arrogance, and you know what they say… ignorance and arrogance go in hand.


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